I love making lists. All kinds of lists. Grocery lists, to-do lists (for home and work), packing lists, lists of what I need to use up in my kitchen, wish lists for the next things I want to buy for my apartment. There is just something incredibly gratifying about laying everything out, front and center, and then being able to cross it off with a big fat red Sharpie marker when all is said and done. Sometimes I even write “make a to-do list” on my to-do list JUST so I can cross it off. I understand, I have issues. However, I challenge you to try it. And then you will be hooked.
At any rate, in honor of the fun holiday weekend, I’m providing you with a fun list of sorts. Not necessarily your typical to-do list, but more of a survey. This A-Z survey was circulating the blog world a couple months back and I thought it would be fun to incorporate here. Basically, there is a “topic” for each letter. Most bloggers had a very personal take on things; when the survey asked for the letter “B” what they had for breakfast that day, they shared their breakfast choice, ranging from toast and PB to cinnamon rolls to cold pizza. However, much to my dismay, this is not a blog about me…it’s about you. I know, some of my posts may divulge more personal information than you care or need to know. So I’ll disperse some personal info here and there throughout this alphabetical survey, but the bulk of it will focus more on tips and factoids that would be appealing to YOU. Enjoy!
A is for Age: Twenty-four. Oh wait, I wasn’t going to make this about myself. Well this is off to a great start. Okay, shifting gears: did you know that as we age, our water retention is affected? When we get older and lose muscle tissue (which contains water), our ability to retain water also lessens. Make sure you get those 8 glasses of recommended water a day, and stay well hydrated in these dog days of spring that we’ve been having.
B is for Breakfast: Momma always told you and me that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Momma was right. Fuel up early, but make sure you are getting a good balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats to keep you running all day (and no, unfortunately the Sausage and Biscuits at IHOP is not a “good” balance of the three). Check out some ideas for some cheap and healthy options here!
C is for Currently Craving: I love alliterations. I love fish tacos even more. Something about warm weather makes me crave fresh Mexican food like no other. Check out this killer recipe for some delicious Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cream; fast, easy and oh so good. Feel free to thank me after you’ve made it.
D is for Dinner Tonight: Unfortunately, not fish tacos. However, I can’t complain much because I just made some fantastic Baked Mostaccioli. I had some zucchini that needed to be used up, so I threw that in for a healthy dose of veggies. This is a fail-proof, kid-friendly and healthy recipe!
E is for Favorite Type of Exercise: I feel like as the contributor to a running blog, that the obvious answer is running. However, I have been much more into strength training as of lately because it has made me a better runner. So many people, especially women, dismiss lifting weights because they don’t have a desire to “bulk up;” however, there is so much more to strength training than that. Check out this great article on why you should hit the dumbbells next time you’re at the gym.
F is for Irrational Fear: Well it is currently large, hairy brown spiders with spots on them, due to an encounter I just had about 15 minutes ago in the yard. I wondered if there was such a thing as a fear of working out or running; however, the closest I could find was the fear of running water (yes, THAT exists). Other phobias I discovered included geniophobia (fear of chins) and mycophobia (fear of mushrooms).
G is for gross food: American cheese. Bad smell, awkward texture and it’s just too yellow. I’ll get my dairy in other ways, thank you. However, I think what is really gross are those sandwiches that pack like 3,000 calories and are a couple hamburgers sandwiched between grilled cheese sandwiches. One of our group ex instructors ate one up in Chicago one time; needless to say, the next class we worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life.
H is for hometown: Champaign – gotta love the C-U. I think one of the ultimate hometowns though would be Minneapolis; if you read my post from a couple weeks ago, I told you that it was named the top healthiest city in the nation. Talk about some hometown pride!
I is for something important: Sleep – and I’m not good at it. I’m not one of those people that keep working into the wee hours of the night. And by working, I mean blogging and watching old episodes of Friends. I’ll give up at a certain point. I need my sleep. And this is why.
J is for current favorite jam: So when I first read this question, my answer was strawberry. And then I read peoples’ responses and realized “jam” meant song. And I felt very old and out of the “lingo.” So I guess my answer is Bennie and the Jetsby Sir Elton (which makes me feel equally as old.) Not a good workout pump up song at all; in fact, it probably has the slowest beginning of any song ever. Yet it is a fabulous stretching song.
K is for kids: Um, no. But when I do have them someday, I want to make sure that they stay active and remain healthy. With one in every three children considered overweight or obese, I think we need to be making every effort possible to feed our kids right and make sure they are getting exercise. They are the future of this nation – let’s take care of them!
L is for current location: Well, same answer as for “H” – Champaign. Born, raised and haven’t left. One of my favorite locations in the Champaign County area is Lake of the Woods, and if you’ve been there, you probably know why. Beautiful scenery and some of the only “hills” in this neck of the woods. Great location for hiking, trail runs and bike rides, as well as summer picnics and photo opportunities.
M is for the most recent way you spent money: I bought some fresh peaches at Schnucks the other day – on sale for $1.48/lb! I’m so geared up for being able to expand my produce selection from apples, bananas and baby carrots. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is actually much better for you, according to a research study by North Dakota State University. Make sure you are incorporating some different items into your weekly diet, not only to prevent burnout but to reduce your risk of chronic disease.
N is for something you need: A shower. Desperately. When you spend a few hours at the pool and go on a bike ride in 96 degree weather, I think you can imagine why I would desperately need a shower.
O is for occupation: I said I wasn’t going to make this about me, so let’s talk about the occupation of Olympic athletes, especially since we have the summer games coming up in just a couple months. Did you know that Olympians actually don’t get paid anything for competing in the games? With that being said, many of them do get expenses paid for by private donors and the elite can make millions of dollars off of endorsement deals. And, if they are ever so lucky and win, I saw on Today this morning that an Olympic medal can be pawned for about $50,000. I would like to say that I would never sell my Olympic medal, but when in a financial bind, an extra $50K would be nice…
P is for pet peeve: When people sweat profusely on the machines at the gym and don’t wipe them down. I understand that sweating happens; I’m glad you were sweating and got a good workout. But when I come on the machine after you to not only find the handles still warm from your hands, but moist to the touch, I do not appreciate. Moist towelettes are pretty much available at every gym. Please use them.
Q is for a quote: See below.
R is for random fact about you: Let’s change this from a random fact about me to a random fact about running (I gave you a number of Running Realities a couple weeks ago, but trust me, I have a plethora). Did you know that at regular points throughout the running cycle, both of your feet are actually off the ground? In essence, you are flying.
S is for favorite healthy snack: Frozen banana with peanut butter. It is like an ice cream sundae, yet so much healthier – and cheaper.
T is for favorite treat: Most people automatically associate “treat” with food, right? That is what our culture has taught us. I challenge you that next time you want to “treat” yourself, avoid the DQ drive-thru and splurge on some new iTunes downloads, a nice water bottle or a massage (if you are really wanting to dish out some dough).
U is for something that makes you unique: I broke my right index finger playing volleyball in eighth grade. However, I was apparently in complete denial and decided that I didn’t need to get it fixed. Exhibit A below proves that apparently I should have gotten it fixed. This is proof that when you get injured, don’t ignore it…
W is for today’s workout: Bike ride and a little strength training. Alternating cardio and strength is the best mix for me; the key is to find something that works for you and to keep your workouts fresh to prevent boredom. Check out this awesome 20/20 workout that will torch calories and can be done virtually anywhere (no fancy equipment necessary).
X is for X-rays you’ve had: Seriously? I guess the options for “X” are limited. I can’t really remember, but I know at least a few. Check out this crazy X-ray though – so glad this isn’t one of my self-portraits…
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Pool time with my mom and some girlfriends. Unfortunately yesterday’s highlight has turned into today’s lowlight: sunburned scalp = impossible to blow-dry hair this morning.
Z is for your time zone: Central. Arguably the best; I feel like a prophecy when I talk to my best friend out in California and the latest episode of Parenthood hasn’t aired yet. It’s like living in the future.